All throughout the United States, when spring and summer arrive the farmer’s markets come out of hibernation and we start to look forward to seeing the bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables on the stands again. The same can be said for Italy.
Since Italian cuisine is largely based on seasonal foods, spring and summer are a great time to visit and cook in Italy. Italian dishes become vibrant with colors from the green vegetation and the colorful fruits. You can experience this abundance of freshness by taking a cooking class and market tour or, by participating in any of our culinary programs in Italy, such as A Classic Tuscan Table, where this tasty eggplant and tomato sauce can be found simmering on the stove.
This particular Italian recipe, also known as salsa di melanzane, serves four people and goes well with your favorite pasta!
Salsa di Melanzane (Eggplant and Tomato Sauce)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Cook method: Sauté
- 1 kilo (about 2.2 lbs) eggplants
- 1 kilo mature tomatoes, peeled and seeded
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove crushed garlic
1. Dice the eggplant and the tomatoes into small cubes.
2. Add olive oil to a sauce pan and sauté the garlic until golden.
3. Add the cubed eggplant to the pan and toss to coat. Season with salt, then sauté for about 8-10 minutes, or until the eggplant has started to soften.
4. Add the cubed tomatoes, season again, then simmer for about 10 minutes more, or until the eggplant is cooked but not mushy and the sauce has slightly reduced.
5. Add the basil, then use to dress cooked pasta. Garnish with parmesan.
Many of our Italy cooking classes feature a market visit, where you’ll help pick out the ingredients for the class. Can’t decide which one to take? As always, feel free to contact us, or check out some of our favorites:
- Cooking under the Tuscan Sun
- Living the Read Tuscan Dream
- Classic Tuscan Table at Villa Casagrande
- Cook in the Heart of Chianti
By Peg Kern
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